Samsung NX Traveller: My Private Sojourn

After the rest of the kakis have gone back to their respective countries, I stayed back to reconnect with friends and families at this part of the world. The other reason is to revisit some areas we may have missed during the NX program due to the weather. So it was a wise decision looking back as I can recharge and yet cover some more areas especially in the city and the Mornington Peninsula’s coastal areas.

And there is also some of the food that I have missed and to relive the moments that I have while I was working and studying over at Monash University. So pardon me if this blog entry do sound a bit personal as I retrace a very enjoyable part of my life’s history.

During the 1st day’s excursion through the city with Paul, we did come upon Degraves Street but was pressed for time so didn’t stay and have a cuppa. When the group left with Geetika and Bill staying back to ‘mop up’, we spend the morning back here to really soak in the atmosphere.

The thing about the coffee culture here in Melbourne is that there is really no ‘bad’ cafés but only good to great. When one really come back to Singapore, you can taste ‘bad’ really quickly when you are trained with the high quality coffee you get in Melbourne. I did miss visiting the real Italian place at Lygon Street. Perhaps the next trip in October with Victorian Connection where we will visit the Tulip festival.

For those who are visiting Melbourne soon,  you can visit the top ten cafe as referenced here: http://www.goodfood.com.au/photogallery/good-food/collection-1/the-age-good-cafe-guide-2014-award-winners-20140616-3a7t9.html

It is great to reconnect with Monash University and this time was with Mrs Norman of the Alumni Relations Office. It is nice to really go back and have a look at the school with a ‘new’ building taking up a huge chunk of the green space that was a good sun bathing spot during summer months. The rest however didn’t change much and it makes it easy for us ‘old timers’ to remember our time here.

The alleyway I used to get to the tram stop after doing some marketing at Coles at Caulfield Plaza after classes.

We arrive at Olinda, home of Pie in the Sky

There are a few times we will go to the Dandenong Mountain range that sits to the North and North-east of Melbourne. One of them is to get yourself on the Puffing Billy, a steam railway to get you from Belgrave to Lake Emerald which is a real treat for the kids. For bigger kids like us, then we shouldn’t waste time and take care of real business – food.

Here I always highly recommend a visit to Pie In the Sky as the Pie Shop is located in the small and quirky town of Olinda that sits on the ridge of the ranges, hence ‘in the sky’.

There are a lot of signs to tell you why they are almost always very busy because those Gold and Silver medals are not for show.

A lot of travellers would usually just buy the pie and sit in the corner and eat them. My suggestion is to take a sit, get yourself a nice cup of coffee and order the Pies as Floaters. It may be more expensive this way but since you have came all the way up to the mountains, do enjoy the place more.

Here is the Pie Floater. As the name suggest the Pie, in this case my Rendang Beef pie (yup ASIAN!!) is surrounded by the thick creamy soup and topped it up with a scoop of mashed potato. A small bowl of Tomato sauce is to give that bit of oommph for the crust and I can bet some Singaporeans will bring their packets of sambal asli to give that extra spiciness.

Cut open the pie and the beef rendang mixed with the soup give that exquisite taste you can’t really have elsewhere. Perhaps it was the weather and settings but I kept coming back here is for a good reason. Finish the whole thing up with a good cup of Latte or Cappuccino and you are good to go.

If you are still hungry there is also a German buffet place just down the road called the Cuckoo Restaurant. Depending on what’s your take on buffet, the food there to my knowledge was really good. Didn’t have time to sit down for dinner this time round so I’d guess will have to do it another time.

By the time we reached Lake Emerald it was pretty dark as we got a bit lost along the way. Still I won’t let that deter me to take at least a shot. So the wind was pretty strong with the cloud moving quickly through the sky as the sun sets.

Now we are good to go to parts of Mornington Peninsula that we didn’t spend a lot of time and the first is Arthurs Seat. This supposed to be the pinnacle of the hill the overlooks the Peninsular but somehow it got obscured by the trees as you can see from the Pano shot. It is little wonder why Tony picked Murrays Lookout as the place to take shots. Well at least I have the requisite tourist picture of taking a shot with the Seat at the top.

The sun, the clouds and the sea dances while the shot was taken at Murrays Lookout.

There’s a sad closure of a chapter at Arthurs Seat with an unfortunate strings of accidents happening to its chairlift service that provides a nice view of the coast. The old equipment are subsequently removed with new plans for a new equipment to be put in place. 

When I was there the old chairlift station was deserted and the interior was cleaned out. Just hope the service is reinstated with better equipment for the safety of all who use the chairlift. 

Sorrento is located very close to the tip of Mornington Peninsula and is the pick up point for the Sorrento-Queenscliff ferry service if you choose to visit the 12 Apostles by crossing the Straits.

Infrared Shots of the Sorrento foreshore and the pier.

Had some fun with a open top VW jeep while having late lunch at the Cafe nearby. After a good ole fish and chips (again), we went to the Southern Coast of the Peninsula and got back to Cape Schanck.

We reached Cape Schanck with enough time to spare to check out the place, something I couldn’t do when we were here the morning after checking out of Peppers Moonah Links Resort. What I have found with further exploration thanks to the clear skies is the presence of a Broadwalk where I got the best vantage point to capture the sunset.

The shot above was captured with the fish eye lens and using the Graduated ND filter to created the odd reflected imagery.

Another surprised shot of the day comes from the Galaxy K Zoom itself using the Rich tone (HDR) settings in the camera.

The sunset time lapse shot by Samsung Galaxy K Zoom with Time Lapse Pro app.

Follow the Broadwalk right to the end and you will come to a small inlet beach filled not with sands but black rocks and pebbles. The rolling waves created this eerie imagery of waves over rocks.

The broadwalk at Sun down takes on a very romantic mood.

A slow shutter shot of the environs and later lighted by a small LED panel. The slow shutter captures the light from the moon, the stars and sweeping light from the lighthouse.

This is actually the tail end of the brightest part of the Milkyway and again lighted by the LED panel.

The true length of the brightest portion of the Milkyway and can be identified by the Scorpio constellation. The Star Chart app should help things along. This shot is partially helped by the presence of the half crescent moon just aft of the camera hence the lighted foreground.

I just point my powerful Cree Torchlight towards the estimated position of the brightest part of the milkyway and it succeeded.

While making our way back to the car, I noticed that the Milkyway is placed nicely on top of the car park as well and hence this shot of the Honda Civic. I just use the headlights of the car (just switched on for a second) and allow the instrument panel’s blue LED light to flood the interior and this is the result.

All are shot with Samsung’s NX 3000 mirrorless camera with the 10mm f3.5 fish eye lens. Yes the milky way is that bright and I only use ISO 800-1600 to do the shots without any post editing (this is to show the camera’s performance).

After visiting the suburbs, I left sometime to go back to the city and meet up with more old friends. Again, the city center has much to offer in the alleyways and even after dark and is different every time one steps into town.

After my lunch at Port Philip Bay and on the way to Union Lane a very familiar scene happened as I passed by with a lady smoking in the alley way with the sun shining down into the alleyway. The smoke cast a nice composition but was a bit unlucky in this shot as she has just finished her last puffed.

Tribute to Andy Warhol?

Bored?

I went back to Union Lane and lo and behold, a group of people under the City Council’s Street Art Mentoring program doing some wall art there. Here is the perfect place to test out Samsung NX’s colour rendition as well as skin tones in a half day lighted enclosed area. Basically I am both impressed with the art work on the wall and the camera’s performance at this point.

Shot with NX 3000 and the NX 30mm f2 lens and NX 10mm f3.5 fish eye lens.

I just stepped out of Union Lane and along Bourke Street, La Rumba is basking doing their Salsa, Flamenco routine. I stood there for a good 15 minutes taking in great live music from the trio of guitarists.

Melbourne Central’s tower within a building. The Coop’s Shot Tower is a heritage building encased by Melbourne Central cone. Shots are bullets for musket rifles and are made by lead. Molten lead drip dropped from the top of the tower and allowed atmospheric pressure to form small balls of lead and cooled when it reached the foot of the tower.

On the right is the famous big clock where Melbournites meet up for dates in the city center.

Met up Owen and Steven before dinner date with Su-Anne at +39 Italian restaurant.

Italia +39 Restaurant, named after the international calling IDD code provides a delicious italian fare this side of town. Totally amoured with the Pappardelle Al Porchini (comes in Porcini mushrooms, parsley, white wine, butter, parmesan and truffle oil). Yup it is oily but a very very delicious kind of oily.

As for the Pizza, we ordered the Margherita which is pizza with italian tomato salsa, fior di latter and basil. We added the Proscuitto for that added flavour. 

We didn’t stay around for dessert as there was a new rage in town.

The Lab is a new concept that uses the fast freezing of liquid nitrogen and mix it with the flavoured light cream or milk with egg custard. The method resulted in a much smoother texture.

Late night waffles with coffee anyone? Waffee can be found along Swanston Street.

How about crépe? This is operated out of a vacated News Stand.

Portrait drawing perhaps as well?

Fish Eyed Flinders…just before taking the train back to the suburbs.

I can never emphasize the fact that Asian cuisines take the taste to another level while in Australia. I have eaten Vietnamese broken rice and Pho in Vietnam and Korean Bulgogi and they can never compare to the taste one can have in Australia. It didn’t just happened in Melbourne but in Perth as well! Just saying that ingredients play a huge part in the taste department.

Alas the trip has to come to an end and many thanks to the good people at Samsung for inviting me back to Melbourne again and gain many new friends along the way. It was hectic but it was fun nevertheless. The weather didn’t help at first but improved immensely in the second week I was in Melbourne.

I would be planning another trip with Victorian Connection again with the view to visit Tesselaar’s Tulip Festival in October. If you are interested do drop me an email.

For more pictures and having a look at the EXIF detail you can visit my Flickr gallery at:

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